You can save money and have a great house if you buy a fixer-upper, but only if you are prepared for the work it needs. Australians Karina and Craig Waters went to France and bought the Chateau de Gudanes, a 300-year-old 94-room neoclassical mansion in which no one had lived for many years. Restoring the chateau to its historic grandeur is a long-term project, which they are documenting on their blog, Chateau de Gudanes. Get an overview of their story and see wonderful photographs of the architectural details at Messy Nessy Chic.
Update 4/1/14 by Alex: More info on this at The Good Life France - Thanks Janine!